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Refining pivots towards Asia

Refining expansions were focused East of Suez, as the likes of China and India ramped up processing capacity and rubber-stamped new projects

The global refining sector saw mixed fortunes in 2018, though for most of the year margins were holding up strongly. While European refineries were generally hampered by their high exposure to a tepid domestic market, in the US, refiners on the Gulf Coast looked better positioned. They still enjoyed privileged access to burgeoning light-tight oil production that meets looming low sulphur requirements. China proved itself to be a major driver of activity, with the authorities encouraging independent refiners to source their own supplies of crude. In May, China's Hengli Petrochemical—based in the Port of Dalian in northern China—leapt into prominence when the commerce ministry gave it the gre

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